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Saab 9-3 diesel 2007 review

There is something about the style and the fact that a fabric roof defies the elements that gives it appeal.

For years, Saab has steadfastly stuck with a soft-top for its convertible but today's soft top is a piece of high-tech kit. It is fully lined, for starters, and effectively mutes wind and rain noise as well as being true to the sports convertible philosophy.

What isn't true is its diesel engine. Sports convertibles and diesels seem like chalk and cheese. Now there are two: the Saab 9-3 and the Volkswagen Eos.

Explore the 2007 Saab 9-3 range

Saab's diesel convertible, the TiD, starts at $68,000 for the Linear with Sport adding $2000. Auto is more.

It is powered by a 1.9-litre, common rail, twin cam turbo diesel good for 110kW and 320Nm. This engine is also used in Holden Astra diesels and the design is originally from Fiat and Alfa.

A six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic transmission is available with drive going to the front wheels via various electronic modulators.

The diesel offers surprisingly strong performance coupled with excellent fuel economy rated at just 5.8-litres/100km. It also generates a relatively low 166g/km of carbon dioxide and features a particle filter to knock out any exhaust nasties.

Though smooth and quiet on the road, the diesel is audible at idle and generates some vibration but nothing that really intrudes.

It will take the convertible at least 1000km on a tank, possibly more if you drive frugally. That is impressive.

The six-speed manual we drove was excellent on the highway, loping along in fifth or sixth with instant acceleration on tap.

The difference between petrol and diesel under these conditions is imperceptible apart from slightly stronger acceleration from the diesel.

As expected, the convertible is fully loaded with goodies like heated seats, leather, premium audio, climate control and cruise control. The 16in alloys look a little small for the car but there is a full-size spare.

Safety equipment includes active roll-over protection, multiple airbags, stability control and five three-point seat belts.

Driving the car is a buzz, especially with the roof down. It was cold during the test drive but we cranked up the heater and heated seats but didn't feel a thing.

While it couldn't be considered a sporty handling car, the convertible is composed and comfy. It is easy to get into the front seats but a little more difficult in the back. The boot is a good size even with the roof down. We like the look of it especially around the flanks, but the front is a pretty generic Saab.


Pricing guides

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Range and Specs

AERO 2.8L, PULP, 6 SP AUTO $10,230 – 13,970 2007 Saab 9-3 2007 AERO Pricing and Specs
LINEAR 2.0L, PULP, 5 SP MAN $6,930 – 9,790 2007 Saab 9-3 2007 LINEAR Pricing and Specs
LINEAR 1.9TiD 1.9L, Diesel, 6 SP MAN $9,020 – 12,760 2007 Saab 9-3 2007 LINEAR 1.9TiD Pricing and Specs
LINEAR 2.0t 2.0L, PULP, 6 SP MAN $8,470 – 11,880 2007 Saab 9-3 2007 LINEAR 2.0t Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


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